The Sage of Innocence

Tonight Edward and I are going to a live broadcast of La Bohéme in Trafalgar Square. For our opera picnic, he’s bringing the wine, and I’m in charge of food. It’s nights like these that make me so glad to live in London – there is the possibility of culture and romance on any given night.

However, it’s also nice to get away sometimes. We spent last weekend in Wivenhoe, a small river town near the eastern coast. We ate dinner at a cozy tapas place and both agreed that it was the best meal we’d eaten in a long time. Our favorite dish was a California-inspired flatbread, light enough to save room for other dishes, but substantial enough to make a lasting impression.

For tonight’s menu, I’ve decided to bring a bit of our quiet, relaxed weekend back to the buzzing city – keeping the same flavors but melting them into travel-friendly quesadillas. Like the New York upper class society in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, a simple shell masks the complex flavors hidden inside. I’m confident that the opera singers won’t be the only stars of the show tonight!


4 tortillas

1 cup shredded mozzarella

8 slices prosciutto

8 sage leaves, chopped

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup water


1. In small saucepan, bring water, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar to a simmer. Allow to reduce down for about ten minutes, until the mixture reaches glaze-like consistency. (You can test this by seeing if the glaze coats the back of a spoon.) Allow to cool.

2. In food processor, pulse mozzarella until creamy.

3. Working with two tortillas at a time, spread the mozzarella mixture on both. (Leave a half-inch border, as mozzarella will spread when it melts.) Lay prosciutto slices and sage leaves, and drizzle balsamic glaze on one side, and fold the second over so that both spread sides are facing inwards (as a sandwich). Repeat for as many quesadillas as you require.

4. Bake on one side for 5 minutes in a 180-degree oven. Carefully flip the quesadillas, and bake for 3-5 more minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into quarters.

*Note: sage has a very strong flavor, so use sparingly!

Enjoy mozzarella quesadillas with Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!